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Life Happens

Over the past year, so many exciting things have happened for me. As you know I finished and published the book which was the most formidable thing I’ve done in a while. I was busy, busy, busy, caught up in the whole experience, learning new things and preparing to have myself exposed to the world as I offered my ‘child’ for examination. Would they accept it in the light it was meant? Would they reject it, asking what the heck? But I was fortunate, those who agreed to be beta readers were very accepting and kind in their response.

So, the countdown began and in September, we offered it for pre-sales. A new level of excitement began, then a couple of glitches, which were out of my control, and had Terry, my publisher pulling her hair out. About the time everything was coming together with the book two old fools, me, and my guy, decide to put the house on the market. We were thinking we’d have months, when we had a month, one, before the sale was almost done, and we were moved into our new to us home in Twin Falls. So much to do so little time as the 15th of October was hurtling toward us like a runaway train and I’m unpacking, trying to keep up with all things book-related.

A pause in the hectic, a deep breath, we’ve got this handled, and once more the excitement over the adventure called book publication is upon me. A couple of book signings scheduled, books at the ready to mail on the 15th, and a friend flying in from Pennsylvania was the icing on the cake.

Then life happens, on the day the book drops, and my friend is on the plane winging her way to Idaho, my husband begins to complain, an hour before she’s due to land, that his stomach hurts.

The welcoming plans changed, from stopping to get a bite to eat to just getting to the house. He didn’t feel like eating, I’d not planned anything, so I called Door Dash. Simple right? Wrong, for some reason we don’t show up on google search or GPS systems and by the time they finally found us our pizza was cold, but Jo and I were so tired and hungry we didn’t care.

Though we’d never met in person, it was like we’d grown up together. We’ve been acquainted online for years since we met in an online writing group. The only damper was my hubby not feeling well, but at that time we weren’t too concerned, thinking it would pass.

We awake the next morning to prepare for our day. My first book signing. I tried to get him to stay home as he still wasn’t feeling good, but he not only insisted he was going but also driving. As the day went on, old friends I hadn’t seen for years came through the doors of BookHaven. I should have been on cloud nine and a part of me was while feeling a wee bit guilty as he sat beside me looking worse throughout the day. But would he go home with our son and daughter-in-law? Of course not! And would he let me drive home! Of course, not but by the Grace of God, we made it. Jo and I white-knuckled it all the way home and I prayed more fervently than I had in a long time. Once more we tried Door Dash and one more time they wandered about instead of calling for directions, and one more time Jo and I had cool food. Now why the heck didn’t I nuke it? But hindsight is always better than that mind that flip-flopping between the most exciting times of my life and fear as I see my honey’s color and demeanor becoming worse.

Sunday, I did something I hadn’t done in probably three years, I drove. I took my cane and my portable, drove to pick up Jo, and thought we might sightsee a bit, I took her to the visitor center at the edge of the snake river canyon by the Perrine Bridge, the entrance to our fair city. She walked about, taking pictures, getting a snapshot of the beauty of our lovely city/part of the country. The plan was to go to Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls falls. But silly me, my portable had slid off from where I put it and froze up meaning I was dependent on real air for a while. But determined I was, and we did stop and get something to eat, I took it slow, and by the time we were halfway through the meal by the time it thawed. Once more I had air to supplement room air.

As the day progressed, honey digressed but continued to refuse to go to quick care or in an ambulance. Thank God, I was able to arrange a ride for Jo back to the airport, as by that time I wasn’t willing to leave him alone.

First thing Monday I was on the phone and thankfully we were able to get him into a doctor as I didn’t want to go to the ER but that’s what I was ready to do even if he was refusing to go there. Long story short. He was in trouble, not with a UTI as we’d about decided, including the doctor when he first saw him, but CT showed it was gallbladder, emergency surgery at six PM, a ruptured gallbladder, sepsis, and peritonitis resulting and a long road back.

Now I’ve been through much in my life, but never do I remember the extreme opposite of emotions I’ve gone through these past few weeks, since October 15th. It’s been like being caught up in a tsunami of highs and lows. Yet at the end of the day, we’re still standing, battered, and bruised but we’re moving forward, adjusting to a new normal.

I’ve not been a big planner over the years because I learned long ago that when you make them, don’t carve them in rock as there are times that life happens, and you are not in control. If you must make plans, and face it at times we do have to, remember that life is fluid and don’t set all you’re hopes and dreams to any occasion. Have you ever seen those families on vacation with an itinerary and by darn they are going to stick to it? They look miserable in their fun. I’ve often wondered why they bother. Life is fluid and if we don’t learn to roll with the punches we won’t survive. The mighty oak stands tall and proud, yet when caught in the storm it doesn’t give like the willow and stands a much better chance of breaking. The willow bends and sways as it’s blown about. Under the best of circumstances, life can be hard and if we learn to adjust, to not second guess when we find ourselves off the trail we had planned for ourselves, pause, and get our bearings we have a much better chance of making it to a safe destination. It might not be exactly as we wanted but we’ve survived. Even in the darkest time, find that glimmer of hope and hang on to it for dear life. If you stumble and fall, rest a bit, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. One step at a time.

Author: Gayle Parish

As far back as I can remember I've always loved books. I love the feel, the smell, and the way words are put together to pull me into a story. I've dreamed for years of writing a story of my own, and here at last I've done it. I hope you'll join me as I share with you some memories, hopes, dreams, exploration of a life well-lived.

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